Historic Districts Latest

It was during a town hall meeting held last month that Meridian city councilman Bobby Smith first proposed the idea of altering the way residents living in historic districts can go about making changes to the exterior of their property. Smith said at the time he wants to make it where residents would have to go through city council before being able to make any drastic outdoor changes.

"Paint colors will be a portion of it," Smith said. "You don't want a purple house in an old historical district. You have to take notice to what the old historical district is like. Some of them are from 1800. You just want to do them back like they used to be."

Smith, along with councilwoman Mary Perry and councilman Jesse Palmer, Sr. traveled to Hattiesburg last week to see what officials there have done to preserve the city's historical districts. Palmer tells me he was pleased with what city officials there have done to preserve historical structures..But some residents here have already expressed concern about the cost of doing that.

"When you go in and take a historical place and refurbish it, you are going to get tax credits," Palmer says. "So actually, you'd be paying yourself by taking on that project. So we don't want them to be fearful."

Newscenter 11 reached out to council president Barbara Henson for a comment, but she says she prefers not to comment until she sees an official copy of the proposed changes.

Palmer says nothing will be decided upon until council members have an opportunity to meet with members of the public first.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Meridianite Location: District 5 on Jun 2, 2012 at 02:15 PM
    Bobby Smith blocked the Dollar General from 18th street and 24th ave. Was he paid under the table? Does he have friends that don't want the competition? One thing is certain, he is bad for Meridian and needs to go!
    • reply
      by Not Surprised on Jun 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM in reply to Meridianite
      He was bad the first time he was a councilman, the only reason he got elected was the other guy had more dirty laundry!!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 03:13 AM
    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHAAAAAW
  • by Jefferson on May 31, 2012 at 03:49 PM
    Bobby Smith said you don't want a purple house in a historical neighborhood with houses that date back to 1800. Did the color purple not exist in 1800? I haven't checked Wikipedia but I am pretty sure it did. I bet purple paint even existed and you could, dare I say, put it on a house. He added, "You just want them back like they used to be." Really? Is that the mindset of people who buy houses in the PSD historical district? "Honey let's get this house so we can strip away all the 20th century conveniences and live in the 1800s again. Won't that be fun!" By Councilman Smith's standard, we should rip all the power lines out of the houses and go back to either oil lamps or gaslight, since less than one percent of Mississippi’s farms and rural residents had electric power in 1935 (for Bobby Smith that means before the 1800s). There should certainly be no window a/c units on any of the houses. I guess technically you could keep your car garages since the first car was invented in 1885 (I did look that up on Wikipedia. Thank you Karl Benz for saving the car garages along PSD). This kind of thinking is just bad government. It is "I know what is best for you because I got a majority vote." Any city council members who are for this need a wakeup call. Now.
  • by Easy4U2say on May 31, 2012 at 02:10 PM
    Homeowners in the city already have to get approval from the City to make changes to their property, it's called zoning and building permits. If you don't want the City making rules you don't agree with then contact your council member and go to the board meetings, otherwise all they hear from are the nuts.
  • by dawn Location: meridian on May 31, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    a little fyi-the city did not start this- a local resident who wants his neighborhood restricted circulated a petition, provided loads of info that mislead many into signing a petition and badgered his city couniclman into putting it on the agenda. we are already in a zone with tax credits and no restrictions, if this moves forward, we will be in a mess thanks to a few with a personal agenda-this all grew out of the Dollar General proposal to build near the poplar springs area- this was squelched-losing revenue for the city-the proposed historic district has many businesses that do not and would not look like the store that was to be built. The council is acting because they have been pushed into action by a few persistent nuts!
    • reply
      by RR on Jun 1, 2012 at 04:53 AM in reply to dawn
      Dawn knows what she is talking about.If they would have let Dollar general locate on 24th and 18th,Dollar General was going to build 3 more stores around The meridian lauderdale county area.It sounds like the city lost a lot of potential revenue due to this.I wish the media would have really kept the public in the loop about why the city prevented this business from locating in that area.
  • by Stacy Location: Bailey on May 31, 2012 at 07:43 AM
    You are right FP. PEOPLE WHO OWN THEIR PROPERTY HAVE A RIGHT TO FIX IT UP ANYWAY THEY PLEASE! ITS NOT THE CITY'S DECISION!
  • by PSD resident on May 31, 2012 at 07:33 AM
    I agree with the previous comment. If they are so worried about our historic district, they should take the money they used on city hall and pay for our renovations.
  • by LYNNE Location: Meridian on May 31, 2012 at 05:55 AM
    If the city want to try and tell the owners how and what to do with their property. They should buy it. But they must give the owners the amount they want. They should just buy all the historical districts. If they want a house purple thy should be able to do just that.
  • by Meridian on May 31, 2012 at 03:08 AM
    @FP- We need the historical houses to match our historical type roads - bumpy with potholes. Water & sewage problems? Also an historical problem.
  • by FP Location: Meridian on May 30, 2012 at 06:53 PM
    I reside on PSD, north of the current historic district. I do not need the City, or anyone else, telling me what I can do with my property that is not in violation of code or zoning. They can buy it if they like. Why don't these elected officials work on paving, water and sewerage problems, and basic fire and police protection. The money wasted on the City Hall renovation is one example of this silly historic preservation.
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